Scotland is seeing a significant increase in the purchase of new and used electric vehicles – six Scottish regions have recently been listed in the UK top 20 for electric and hybrid sales. The use of electric vehicles (EV) is a key target of the Scottish government, which has pledged to phase out new gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2032 – eight years ahead of the UK Government.
There are now almost 1,000 charging points across the country, but more will be needed to ensure that the 2032 target is met. John Bynorth of Environment Protection Scotland has stated that “range anxiety” – the perception that drivers may run out of charge before completing their journey – is a major hurdle to EV acceptance.
“There have been positive announcements, such as the plans to turn the A9 into an ‘Electric Highway’ by introducing more charging points, but there remains a pressing need to ensure the number of places where motorists can plug in and top up their EV charge keeps up with demand,” said Bynorth. “Huge investment is needed, particularly in developing the network of rapid chargers so motorists will be able to stop and charge up for around 20 minutes or less, and then carry on their journeys. Range anxiety can be addressed by local authorities ensuring there are enough rapid plug-in charge points so that motorists will be able to plug in at shopping centers, outside libraries, in car parks and outside their workplaces. Cutting down on planning red-tape and the costs faced by local authorities for installing charging points would also improve the ability of local authorities to roll out charging points between now and 2032. Decisions need to be taken now to ensure there are enough charging points to cope with demand in the coming decades.”